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How to Make Your Own Planner Stickers – Without Buying an Expensive Machine!

Want to learn how to make your own planner stickers? It’s super easy, and you don’t need to buy and expensive machine. Get started with printable stickers with just a few tools. Read on to find out what you really need to get started hobby planning with stickers.

How to make your own planner stickers without buying a super expensive machine. You don't need one! Here's how!

Why would you make your own planner stickers?

If you’re part of any big planner groups, you might get the general sense that making your own planner stickers is frowned upon.

“Make my own stickers? Never! Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
“That’s what Etsy is for…”
“Why would you make your own if you’re not going to sell them?”

Actually, plenty of people do. And there are lots of reasons you might want to get started with printable planner stickers.

  • Printing your own stickers is inexpensive
  • It’s a great way to get started with planning
  • Print and plan in the same day – no waiting for snail mail
  • Reuse your favorite designs again and again without reordering
  • You do have time, and you want to spend it on your favorite hobby!

But don’t I need to buy an expensive sticker machine?

Absolutely not!

Hobby planning is for everyone. You don’t need to buy an expensive sticker machine to make your own planner stickers.

What you do need is a few, simple tools to get started. In this post I’ll show you what you need to get started with printing stickers right away. Plus, I’ll link to some posts that will help you find exactly what you’re looking for!


Love fancy full kits you see on Plan With Me videos? You can create your own fabulous spreads with freebies. That’s right, I said it! Check it out>>> Top Sites for Free Printable Planner Stickers


How much does it cost to make my own planner stickers?

You can spend anywhere from $7 to $25 dollars for sticker kits on Etsy and sticker sites. For some people, that’s a perfectly fine price to pay for their hobby. However, many of us can’t afford to spend that much in our planners each week!

Think about it. Each week we decorate, and then we turn the page. If you’re pouring $7/week into stickers that will be a planner worth nearly $500 at the end of the year!


You can create the same styles of spreads for pennies on the dollar. Making your own planner stickers will save you money in two ways:

  1. The cost of materials each week will total less than $1-$3 per week – less than half the cost of purchasing printed stickers. Maybe more if you love no white space planning!
  2. You can buy or search for printable stickers that you love. Use them again and again over time to drop the price even more! You’ll never have to reorder.

Weekly Budget Breakdown

Label Paper: Roughly $0.20 per sheet

Ink: $10 per cartridge with about 150 full color printed pages per cartridge = $0.07 per sheet. This is just an average. My ink typically lasts a lot longer.

Washi: Rolls are usually 9 or 10 yards. Using 2ft or less per spread = $0.10 per week

Etsy Stickers: A girl’s gotta splurge once in a while! I just love the cute stickers from Etsy. Two dollar Tuesday is my favorite day of the week!


How long does it take to make my own planner stickers?

Printing and cutting your stickers each week will take longer than just whipping out a binder and going to town. However, it doesn’t take that much longer!

Once you’re set up with your materials, it could take anywhere from about an hour to as long as you want to spend each week.

Personally, I’m happy to spend an hour with my planner. I find making my own stickers and setting up my week to be relaxing. Plus, spending a little more time on it helps me to remember what’s coming up.


What do homemade planner stickers look like?

Just because they’re inexpensive doesn’t mean they look cheap! The spreads I created on my Plan With Me on a Budget series were all under $3 – including printed stickers and washi! Take a look at some of the planner spreads I’ve created with home-printed planners stickers below.

View the playlist on YouTube.


How to Make Your Own Planner Stickers

1) Recommended Materials

  • Printer
  • Ink
  • Sharp Scissors
  • 1/2 inch Hole Punch
  • Sticker Paper -or- Heavy Duty Paper and Adhesive

Printer

If you are printing your own, you probably already have one. In case your printer is an evil minion of the devil, let me recommend the only printer that I have ever owned that I do not want to throw through a wall.

This is the HP Officejet All-in-One printer. I have owned this printer for nearly three years (the longest I’ve ever had a printer), and I can honestly say I like it. High praise for a printer! This printer:

  • Will not eat all of your sticker paper
  • Prints clearly with recycled ink cartridges
  • Does not go into wild-head-cleaning-mode where it sucks all the ink out of your cartridges
  • Links up to your computer without giving you any guff

Ink

If you are regularly printing your own stickers, you will go through ink cartridges pretty quickly. How quickly? That depends on (1) how many stickers you print and (2) how mean your printer is.

I recommend buying ink in remanufactured ink cartridges. I’ve had great success with the LxTek brand. I cannot tell the difference between new and recycled ink cartridges. The printing is just as clear and dark.

These can be installed in your printer just like a regular, new ink cartridge. But they are about half the price of buying new.

Sharp Scissors

You will want a dedicated pair of scissors for your stickers. I personally like to have a variety of sizes on hand. I like using the large scissors to quickly cut out square-edged full boxes. Smaller scissors are great for fussy cutting functionals or lettering that require a bit more precision.

I recommend this stainless steel scissor kit, which is available on Amazon. It’s looks super industrial, but the scissors are very nice quality and the price is just right.


Cutting through stickers and washi can be rough on a pair of scissors. If you find that your scissors are getting gummed up or dull, check out this quick tip to clean and sharpen you scissors.


1/2 Inch Hole Punch

You’ll find many functional stickers in kits are the 1/2 inch round size. These are a real pain to cut out with scissors. Save your sanity and get a .5 inch circular punch to make your cutting time a little faster.

If you frequently use the tear drop, small squares for date covers, or scalloped shapes you may want to invest in some extra punches. *These are also great to use with scrapbook paper to create your own functional or decorative stickers.


Paper

You can print on sticker paper or plain paper and use adhesive.

Sticker Paper

My favorite sticker sheets are the Avery matte full sheet labels. They’re bright white, very affordable, and don’t get stuck in my printer! You can also find clear labels if you want to create stickers with a clear background.

Be sure to match the type of printer you own with the correct paper – inkjet or laser. Your printer may be different than mine, so don’t be discouraged if the first sticker sheets you buy are not the best. Try out a few and see which ones your printer tolerates best. Thickness and smoothness vary.

Plain Paper and Adhesive

I like to print on bright white 27lb paper or heavier for the best results. The easiest adhesive to use to attach paper stickers is a tape runner, but you can also use a glue stick.

If you are using a glue stick to adhere your stickers, you’ll need to smooth them down using the edge of a credit card or a bone folder to get out all of the wrinkles.

Optional materials for great looking spreads

  • Washi Tape
  • Pens you love

2) Gather Your Sticker Files

Ready to start planning? Let’s go browse some stickers. (This is my favorite part!!!)

You can find many free printable planner stickers online or shop on Etsy to find new printable favorites. Here’s a little help so you don’t have to search all over the place!

3) Print Your Stickers

When you download stickers you will receive a PDF. Open the file in any viewer (or many open online) and click to print.

*Always select “Actual Size” when printing from a PDF. Printable planner stickers are generally sized 1.5in across, making them fit perfectly in most vertical planners. Make sure you always choose Actual Size to print them correctly.

Do not select “Fit to Page!” This option will resize your stickers slightly making them print (usually) slightly smaller than the boxes on your planner.

4) Cut & Plan!

Yay! You’re ready to start cutting and planning!

If you printed on sticker paper: Cut, peel off the backing, and adhere to your page.
If you’re printed on plain paper: Cut, adhere with tape or glue, and smooth out the bubbles.


Planning is such a fantastic hobby that is growing in popularity all the time. I love that I can be creative in my day-to-day life and make all the tedious to-dos beautiful. It almost makes me want to do chores… almost.

Make your own planner stickers with printables


I hope this helps get your started with making your own stickers! Your spreads will be beautiful, even if you have only a few bucks to spend each week.

What’s your favorite printable site or shop? Drop a comment in the box below!

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Where to find printable Kawaii stickers for your planner.

7 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Planner Stickers – Without Buying an Expensive Machine!

  1. anacademicplanner says:

    Thanks for sharing! I don’t make my own stickers, but I use free planner stickers. They don’t cost much to print and use. Which is exactly what I want for my planner, at least for now. Not that I don’t want to support stickers makers, but it’s not something I can do without guilt…

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